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What To Do If Your Ex Texts You During No Contact

So you’ve decided to go No Contact.

It won’t be easy, but it is the best option if you want your ex back.

But that raises one obvious question: what do you do if your ex reaches out to you first?

Today we’re talking about something that many people face during No Contact: how to respond to texts from your ex–if you should even respond at all.

But before we talk about what you SHOULD do, we need to talk about what NOT to do. Because–and I say this all the time–at this stage it’s more about avoiding mistakes than it is about actively trying to engage with your ex. This is one of the main reasons to do No Contact in the first place: it keeps you away from your ex and it prevents you from making mistakes. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that a text message from your ex is a huge opportunity to make a mistake and screw up your chances with him or her.

So here are the top mistakes you MUST AVOID when your ex texts you during No Contact…

1. Don’t respond too quickly

Now, I know what you’re going to say. “Isn’t this kind of juvenile? Do you really have to wait a period of time before responding to your ex’s message just so that you don’t look desperate?”

And look, I get why you feel this way. You don’t want to play games. You just want to be open and direct with your ex.

But the truth is that being up front, honest and direct will not work in this situation. I’ve helped thousands of people get their exes back, all over the world. If you did things the way you wanted, nine times out of ten you’d just scare your ex away and ruin any chance you have.

RELATED: Why Your Ex Takes So Long To Text You Back

So trust me when I say, you need to follow the plan and be ready to fight your natural instincts.

And in this case, that means not texting your ex back right away. So give it an hour or two at the very least. Not only will this give off the sense that you have better things to do–even if you don’t–it will also give you the time and space to think of what you’re going to say.

That is, if you actually DO respond to them. In many situations, you don’t need to respond to your ex at all. I’ll talk more about that later.

2. Don’t compliment your ex

Being too nice to your ex during this time is a mistake. Not because you don’t want your ex to know that you care about them…they probably know that already.

Being nice to your ex hurts your chances because it puts pressure on them to be nice to you. They don’t want to be nice to you right now because they’re trying to distance themselves from you and set boundaries. So by being overly nice to them you’re basically interfering with that process.

They’re going to think that you’re trying to manipulate them into getting back with you, or–possibly worse–they’re going to think that you’re just pretending like nothing has changed. Whether that means that you’re delusional or just don’t know how to treat them like an ex depends on your ex’s perception…but neither scenario is great.

So this means don’t be overly cheery and friendly. And above all, complimenting your ex is OUT.

3. Don’t ask if they’re dating anyone

If you want your ex back, you’re probably eager to find out if they’re dating again. But really, what do you want to do with this information? Even if they were to tell you, it would just drive you crazy. If they’re dating shortly after you broke up it doesn’t necessarily mean anything for your chances so finding out shouldn’t be a priority for you.

And more than that, by ASKING your ex if they’re dating anyone all you’re doing is hurting your chances. You’re showing them that you’re obsessing over them, even if you think you’re being subtle. You’re showing them that you don’t respect their boundaries and you’re showing them that a conversation with you is only going to lead to drama and discomfort.

So hold your tongue for now because their dating life is off limits.

4. Don’t tell them YOU’RE dating someone

Whether or not you’re dating someone new right now, telling your ex about it is going to be another mistake. I know why you might think this is a good idea… you want to make them jealous. You also want to dispel the idea that you want them back. These are good instincts but you’re not going to get the results you want this way.

If you just straight up tell your ex that you’re dating someone new, they’re going to be thrown off. They may get upset at you, which is going to lead to more conflict and ruin the conversation.

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Even if they brush it off, it will be CRYSTAL clear that you’re telling them for a specific reason. Either you want to get a rise out of them, you’re trying to make them jealous or you want to hurt them.

In any case, this doesn’t help you get your ex back…It only makes them think less of you.

5. Don’t tell them you miss them

If you’ve read this far, this one should be obvious…but some people are so ruled by their emotions that they feel they MUST share them with their ex and that’s going to be a problem.

I’ll just say it: if you want your ex back, DO NOT tell them that you miss them.

Telling them that you miss them at this stage is just going to put pressure on them. You’re basically asking them to say “me too, let’s get back together” which is unlikely to happen. If you’re still in No Contact, you can’t expect them to be on board with that.

That means they’re going to have to reject you to maintain their boundaries. This is stressful for them and actually pushes the two of you further apart.

On top of that, don’t let them see your sadness, your anger or any other negative emotions. You’re trying to be an appealing romantic option for your ex and no one wants someone who is down in the dumps. And knowing that the breakup is the cause of these negative feelings is only going to complicate things for your ex. They may think that you blame them for these feelings or that you want an apology. In any case, it’s a bad idea.

6. Don’t send a long message

If you do decide to respond–and that’s a big if–you need to keep it short and sweet. As I’ve said, we’re trying to avoid desperation here so don’t spam them with a big long paragraph in response to “how are you?” or something similar.

The same goes for sending multiple messages back to back. Or sending a delayed message if they don’t respond.

Avoiding this will help you with number 7…

7. Don’t get drawn into a big, serious conversation about the relationship

If you do decide to message your ex, then do your best not to get drawn into a big long conversation about the relationship, about what went wrong, or really about anything, really. Your goal here is short and sweet. Keep things light and try not to dredge up the past.

Nerves are raw right now. As much as you want to “clear the air” there’s a very good chance that a conversation like this will have explosive results. Conversations like this are important but they shouldn’t be had until much, much later…like after you two have reconciled and started a new life together.

What You SHOULD Do If Your Ex Texts You During No Contact

So now that you know what NOT to do, we need to talk about what you SHOULD do when your ex texts you during No Contact.

Well there are a few things to consider here but the first rule I have for you is pretty simple: don’t freak out. Take your time to read and respond to any message. Don’t let your emotions take control and lead you into saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It’s easier said than done but if you can slow down, take a breath and take your time, you’re going to be alright.

But the real question here is how should you respond? Or really, should you respond at all.

Because, in MOST situations where your ex texts you during No Contact, you should *not* respond to their message AT ALL. I know, this goes against every fiber of your being but it’s truly the right move if you’re serious about No Contact.

RULE #1: DON’T respond to “nothing” texts.

This goes for any message that doesn’t ask a question. For example: “I just heard that Kenny got arrested!” or “I finally saw Jurassic Park. You were right, it’s great!”

Anything like that doesn’t really require a response. Your ex might not like it, but they’re going to understand why you want space right now without you having to spell it out for them.

The same goes for messages about how sad and lonely they are and how much they miss you.

This also goes for generic questions.

For example, let’s say your ex texts you “what’s up?” or “how are you doing?” Now, because this is a direct question, you may feel like you have to respond to them.

But the truth is, you can normally safely ignore a message like this during No Contact. This is essentially a “nothing” message and so if you were to actually forget about it and not respond at all, your ex wouldn’t be shocked or offended.

This will give your ex the sense that you’re busy living your life and don’t have time to be entertaining them. You might even be moving on…

It will also tell them that, if they want your attention, they’re going to have to do better than that.

But there is a caveat here. If you don’t respond and they keep following up because they’re upset or worried about you, then you may need to respond, simply to let them know that you’re okay.

RULE #2: DO respond if they get worried.

Just gently let them know that you need space because you’re trying to move on, even though that’s not really true. This is just to solidify No Contact and prevent them from using you as a shoulder to cry on.

So, as you can tell, the message your ex sends you really determines whether or not you should respond to them during No Contact. Whatever the message, your goal during this time should be to end the conversation and resume No Contact as quickly as possible.

RULE #3: DO settle pressing business.

One situation where you do have to respond to your ex is if there’s pressing business that needs your input. For example, maybe your ex needs you to send them money for the electric bill, or they need to pick up their stuff from your house, or they need you to pick up the kids from school.

Whatever the case, messages like this do require a response. Don’t respond to these within seconds either, but don’t take too long. Simply act normal, give them the information they need and make arrangements to settle this business as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

Again, don’t get drawn into more conversation and don’t use it as an opportunity to talk to your ex about anything outside of the business at hand.

But what about messages from your ex that aren’t about pressing business but also aren’t “nothing” messages?

For example, maybe they’re asking you something very personal about your life and you know that this isn’t just a throwaway text.

In a situation like this, you may need to respond to their message with something short and sweet. Basically, you want to send them a message that isn’t going to invite any further conversation.

RULE #4: DO answer direct questions but make it clear that you don’t want to talk.

If they ask you a direct question, make sure that your answer doesn’t go into details and don’t ask them any questions to follow up.

Combine this with waiting a few hours or even a full day before responding and this is going to send the message that you’re not really interested in talking to them right now. You’re trying to maintain No Contact so if you show them you want space, that’s a good thing.

You aren’t going to scare them away for good with a message like this but you are going to set a boundary and show them that you have self respect.

Then, of course, there are life and death situations where you must respond to your ex like if they’re telling you they’re in the hospital or they’re threatening to hurt themselves but these are obviously pretty rare.

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So really, the takeaway here is to err on the side of NOT responding to your ex’s messages during No Contact. There are situations where you should respond but be sure to consider the message carefully and take your time to avoid making a mistake.

When you do respond, keep it short and sweet and don’t keep the conversation going. If they press you, explain to them that you need space and you’re trying to move on.